Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Innovating R&R

Acouple of months ago, while flipping through a UK-based HR journal, two news items placed side by side caught my eye. One was that Yazaki, a leader in the electrical distribution systems, has increased pension contributions to reward loyal employees, the other that Quorum Business Park, which has 3500 workers, announced a reward scheme to encourage employees to cycle to work. Two vastly different R&R designs, but both equally innovative and objective driven.

The rewards and recognition landscape has changed considerably over the last few decades, and we have seen innovation in both monetary and non-monetary systems. Some have been able to integrate with organisations’ business practices and directions, while others have helped transform organisational culture. Not all developments had a positive impact. Some R&R systems of the erstwhile banking and financial sector in the Western world and especially in Wall Street ran amok, with performance pays indexed to notional gains, and worked as a catalyst in bringing down the financial markets. The Wall Street reward system came in for a lot of flak from both ordinary people and policy makers, and we have now seen changes to make the system more transparent and ethics driven. One major fallout of the criticism of the erstwhile reward systems has been a definite move away from indexing rewards to market performance and more towards sustained and ethical business performance. The other positive out of the criticisms is that R&R designs are perceived as more fair than ever before because of the constant scrutiny that the media has subjected executive pay and perks to.

With organisations remaining conservative in their growth outlook, budgets for rewards and recognition have remained tight. Many employers are focusing on non-financial recognitions to motivate and engage employees. The other significant move in recognition systems has been towards personalisation or localisation. Personalisation certainly adds significant value to recognition and touches the heart of the receiver, making him or her feel that much more special. Communicating clearly the objectives and criterion, as well as the reasons for choosing a particular reward and recognition system has also grown in significance. Without proper communication, non-financial benefits have a tendency towards dilution and becoming something of a fad, rather than a motivator.

In this issue, in partnership with the Great Place to Work® Institute and presented by Edenred, we bring to you a study on the ‘Best Companies in India for Rewards and Recognition’. This study will help you understand the present R&R landscape and the latest innovations that organisations are designing in this space. You will also find interviews with the best companies for rewards and recognition, interviews that outline the motivations, objectives, constrain and challenges that Human Resource divisions have to keep in mind while designing and implementing these policies. It is exciting to see both large and medium size organisations, across industries, use R&R to boost employee performance as well as build their employer brand. R&R is becoming a significant tool to leverage in the ever-growing war for talent.

We hope to be able to bring to you more contemporary, actionable and cutting-edge, research and surveys in the near future. I am certain you will enjoy reading this issue, and I look forward to your feedback as always. Happy Reading!

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